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Should renting properties for private revenue be illegal?

Asked by: sodoff
  • I think a property should be treated as home not a profiting business

    A property should have a personal occupant value not inflated business value. Business value creates far more inflated prices as rich people treat properties as stocks & shares to bargain with. The poor get priced out of the market and stuck in a renting cycle.

    If we banned private sellers from profiting from leasing out properties the housing market would be a lot fairer.

  • What benefits individuals short-term does not always benefit society long-term (and may be worse also for the few individuals long-term).

    While I support allowing investors to rent commercial properties, I don't support allowing investors to rent residential properties. Two of the opponents argue in favor of allowing investors to rent residential properties simply because they benefited from profits generated by them. However I believe this is a zero sum game where investors profit at the expense of renters.

    When for-profit investors enter the housing market as buyers it artificially inflates demand for houses and causes the price to go up. The ability to borrow money to purchase homes also causes an artificial increase in demand that drives up prices. Combine speculation with credit and you end up with skyrocketing prices that only the rich can afford to buy into and then the poor end up stuck in a viscous cycle of renting. In this system we are stepping on top of each other instead of lifting each other up.

    If we didn't allow investors to speculate on residential real estate, would it cause a decrease in supply? Probably, but this is where society needs to pitch in and ensure enough houses are built for everyone and offer zero interest loans for first time buyers or recover the cost through taxes.

    Study the history of human and technological evolution and you'll find that we always make the most progress when we find ways to free more people from the burdens of labor. Going all the way back to Ancient Egypt, the priestly class had the free time to think and make discoveries sparking revolutions in our understanding of mathematics and science. Likewise the more we find ways to free people today from labor and financial burdens, the more people will have time to develop their intellect and contribute to further advancements in the evolution of society.

  • What is best for a few individuals is not always best for society

    While I support allowing investors to rent commercial properties, I don't support allowing investors to rent residential properties. Two of the opponents argue in favor of allowing investors to rent residential properties simply because they benefited from profits generated by them. However I believe this is a zero sum game where investors profit at the expense of renters.

    When for-profit investors enter the housing market as buyers it artificially inflates demand for houses and causes the price to go up. The ability to borrow money to purchase homes also causes an artificial increase in demand that drives up prices. Combine speculation with credit and you end up with skyrocketing prices that only the rich can afford to buy into and then the poor end up stuck in a viscous cycle of renting. In this system we are stepping on top of each other instead of lifting each other up.

    If we didn't allow investors to speculate on residential real estate, would it cause a decrease in supply? Probably, but this is where society needs to pitch in and ensure enough houses are built for everyone and offer zero interest loans for first time buyers or recover the cost through taxes.

    Study the history of human and technological evolution and you'll find that we always make the most progress when we find ways to free more people from the burdens of labor. Going all the way back to Ancient Egypt, the priestly class had the free time to think and make discoveries sparking revolutions in our understanding of mathematics and science. Likewise the more we find ways to free people today from labor and financial burdens, the more people will have time to develop their intellect and contribute to further advancements in the evolution of society.

  • You can walk down any road in America and point out the owner-occupied homes vs the rentals, just by looking at them.

    You can walk down any road in America and point out the owner-occupied homes vs the rentals, just by looking at them. Of course the rentals look a lot worse. The fact is that rentals degrade our built environment over time because renters on average do not maintain properties they do not own. Also landlords put less maintenance into properties that they rent out, because they assume (correctly) that many of their renters will just ruin the place anyway, so why take care of it.

  • What incentive would there be to care for the property?

    Like many things, by simply providing something for nothing (in this case, property for no gain) there would not be any incentive for either party to actually "care" for the property itself. If the rentor got nothing extra out of the deal, he/she would not want to do anything that required extra effort.
    Even state-regulated housing gets run-down when no one considers it to have value, and quite a few housing projects in my area have been privatized so that proper care can be given by a company that has a gain to be made from their vested interests. And yes, many for-profit renting companies have flaws to their management, but if they're brought to court for it then there's actually some leverage to use against them: we'll take away your profits if you don't keep up the standards. If it's a non-profit, and no one stands to gain or lose, everyone loses.

  • I’m a socialist but even I don’t believe that all property is theft.

    Poor people often can’t afford to buy homes of their own and have no option to rent. Yes, there is a place for state-owned social housing but there is also room for private sector landlords.

    My family is working class but over the years we have invested in property and now have a portfolio of houses in London that we rent out at the market rates. We were poor but now drive Rolls-Royces, BMW’s and other flash cars, and we own a number of speedboats and luxury yachts: things under-privileged people from a financially disadvantaged background like ours wouldn’t have been able to afford on our salaries alone.

  • There needs to be an incentive

    If there were no incentive for private individuals and companies to buy, improve and maintain properties, a shortage of acceptable housing would develop because new houses and apartments would not get built and existing ones would not get maintained.

    I grew up in a poor working class family. My parents did not have access to 401K plans and other complicated retirement saving options, but since my dad knew how to fix things, they scrimped and saved every last penny to make down payments on old properties so he could fix them and they could rent them out. They rented them and used the rent to make the payments until they were paid off. Now that they've reached retirement age and the properties are finally paid off, the rent they get from those properties will go for food, utilities, and other expenses that they need to survive, since they are going to have to stop working because of increasing back pain and arthritis.

    People who profit from their own hard work and financial sacrifice are not doing anything wrong. My parents chose to use their money for down-payments on rental properties instead of for family dinners out and the latest trendy toys and clothes. They bought their clothes and ours at the Salvation Army and Goodwill instead of at Walmart, Kmart, and the mall. Some people make wiser choices in life than other people, and there is nothing wrong with people who made wiser choices enjoying the benefits of those choices.


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